Siding Spring Survey

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This article is about the near-Earth object search program. For other uses, see Siding Spring.
Siding Spring Survey
Organization University of Arizona, Australian National University
Code E12
Location Siding Spring Observatory, New South Wales, Australia
Coordinates 31°18′S 149°06′E / 31.3°S 149.1°E / -31.3; 149.1Coordinates: 31°18′S 149°06′E / 31.3°S 149.1°E / -31.3; 149.1
Altitude 1,150 m
Established 2004
Closed 2013
Uppsala Southern Schmidt Telescope Schmidt telescope

The Siding Spring Survey (SSS) was a near-Earth object search program that used the 0.5 metres Uppsala Southern Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory, New South Wales, Australia. It was the southern hemisphere counterpart of the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) located in the Santa Catalina Mountains on Mount Bigelow, near Tucson, Arizona, USA. The survey was the only professional search for dangerous asteroids being made in the Southern Hemisphere.

SSS was jointly operated by the University of Arizona and the Australian National University, with funding from NASA. SSS (IAU observatory code E12) was located at Siding Spring Observatory (IAU observatory code 413) at 31°18′S 149°06′E / 31.3°S 149.1°E / -31.3; 149.1, approximately 400 km (250 mi) north-west of Sydney at an altitude of about 1,150 metres (3,770 ft).

Images of 30 seconds' exposure time were collected using a 4×4K charge-coupled device at intervals and then compared with software.[1]

The survey ended in July 2013 after funding was discontinued.[2][3]


Since 2004 the survey has discovered 400 potentially hazardous objects with a diameter greater than 100 m.[1] In early January 2013, Robert H. McNaught discovered a new comet named C/2013 A1 using data collected while searching for asteroids.[4]


  1. ^ a b Perry Vlahos (20 December 2012). "Who's on night watch?". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Safi, Michael (20 October 2014). "Earth at risk after cuts close comet-spotting program, scientists warn". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 November 2015. 
  3. ^ Winder, Jenny (5 November 2014). "Comet Hunters Warn of Threat to Siding Spring Observatory". SEN TV Limited. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  4. ^ "Newfound Comet Likely Won't Hit Mars Next Year". 15 April 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 

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